Bookstores dedicate numerous shelves to self-help books.

“Your Attitude Determines your Altitude!”

“Be Positive!”

“Turn Lemons into Lemonade!”

“Don’t Let Them Get You Down!”

The world is full of positive messages, saying that if someone tells you that you can’t do something…do it anyway!  Show those bastards!   Prove them wrong!

Or they tell you that no matter what happens in life, stick a smile on your face, adjust your attitude and ‘fake it til you make it’.

Yipes.

This is great for many situations, but not ALL situations.  We have all seen reality television shows where people audition for talent contests….and they clearly have NO TALENT.

Or you may know of someone who has a child in jail, with a long rap sheet, a history of bad behaviour….and they simply smile and say “But he’s a good boy!   I believe in him!  I have to stay positive!”

Maybe you know someone who is in an unhealthy relationship or work situation.  Although they try to see the “good” in the situation, you know in your heart that they deserve better and that every day they are slowly dying inside.

You need to understand that there is a fine line between a great attitude and being in denial.  Yes, being positive and seeing the good in people/situations is something to strive for.  Nobody likes the guy or gal who is always negative, always cranky and complaining…and in any new situation automatically jumps to the conclusion that the world is a lousy and miserable place.  Those people suck the life out of a room.  This usually equals no fun and no friends.

But if you find that good, kind people are trying to calmly explain to you that:

  • You are not talented enough to be a performer/writer/artist
  • Your job really and truly sucks
  • Your romantic partner is a thief/lowlife/addict/cheater/liar/abuser/wanted criminal
  • You need to go to university if you want to become a doctor (and you need to be good at science)
  • And so on…..

…then you have to ask yourself: “am I using a ‘great attitude’ to ignore a really lousy truth?”

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